- Time to head to Washington, DC – for #AMIA2014! November 12, 2014
- Time for a “biomedical informatics singularity” – Part I? August 29, 2014
- Help us improve healthcare … by joining the Regenstrief Team! January 6, 2014
on biomedical informatics and health information technology
It’s the time of year again where we gather up our booth items, such as brochures, giveaways (like our awesome t-shirt [free for qualifying participants]) and of course our “Belgian chocolate” coins, and head to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2014 Annual Symposium in DC. (Thanks, Sandy, for getting it all together.) AMIA is the academic home of informatics, and the Symposium is the leading scientific meeting for biomedical and health informatics research and practice.
Many Regenstrief Institute CBMI faculty, staff and colleagues from other IU affiliates will attend the conference which runs from November 15-19, 2014, in Washington, DC. We are looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues, peers and old friends while catching some of their presentations.
Aside from the Schedule-at-a-glance, the best way to see what is happening and plan for the meeting is the Itinerary Planner. It is a great way to organize your attendance for keynote presentations, panels, papers sessions, the student design competition, and the many social events. Even better, the mobile app lets you access your itinerary on the move. We have also put together a (mostly) .
For this year’s Symposium, AMIA has created some new and exciting events, such as the “Scavenger Hunt” open to all attendees. This event is sure to bring more people to our exhibit booth #320 in search of the answers to the questions for the hunt. Other great events include Casino Night (a great way to meet people and try your luck at gambling at the same time), the four-mile Fun Run and the AMIA’s Got Talent! show. (I went there last year and had a blast – here is a sampling of performances.)
We have two demonstrations, a couple of panels, four papers and seven posters from the Regenstrief/IU participants. Below you can find more information regarding these.
Starting the conference off are Titus Schleyer, Dan Vreeman, etc. with a didactic panel titled Squaring the Circle – Managing Local Healthcare Terminologies in the Age of Standardization on Sunday the 16th at 3:30 discussing current approaches to managing both standardized and local terminologies, elucidate challenges and opportunities, and future strategies to make the process more efficient and effective.
Be sure to catch Blaine Takesue, JT Finnell and Jon Duke Tuesday 11/18 (1:45) when they demonstrate Regenstrief’s homegrown teaching EMR (tEMR), designed to bridge the gap between what students are taught in medical school and what physicians need to know in real world practice.
We have several student presentations this year with the help of several CBMI faculty.
Regenstrief investigators Weiner, Zillich and Russ collaborated with others to design strategies to reduce prescribing errors Wednesday the 19th at 10:30).
We have seven poster presentations Monday and Tuesday:
Last, I am very proud to highlight a new AMIA program called High School Scholars: Building New Paths to Biomedical Informatics Education. This program encourages students at the high school level to participate in informatics research and development. Zeba Kokan, a student at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis (advised by Jon Duke), will present on Quality of Physician Documentation of Breast Cancer Family History.
Looking forward to a Regenstrief/IU/guests dinner at Petits Plats Tuesday evening to wrap up the Symposium while relaxing with colleagues, staff, and former trainees.
We are looking to recruit for several faculty positions, an assistant director of administration and a few system engineers within CBMI. We want to enhance the Regenstrief Institute’s leadership in Biomedical Informatics. You can help make that happen. Are you interested? For more information, please see the postings at http://bit.ly/RCBMI_OpenPositions.
Be sure to tweet about what is going on at AMIA: #AMIA2014 @RCBMI. See you there!
As some of you may know, the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI) is recruiting for several faculty positions. I thought the new year might be a nice moment to tell you about the top 10 reasons to work at CBMI – and maybe get you or a colleague/friend of yours to check us out ;-). Even if you yourself are not interested in a faculty position here, maybe you know someone who would be. If so, please tell them about it!
Interested? Take a look at http://bit.ly/RCBMI_Faculty, and then send me email or give me a call!
Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD
Clem McDonald Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics
Regenstrief Institute, Inc., 410 West 10th Street, Suite 2000, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3012
Skype: titus.schleyer, Ph: (317) 423-5522 (direct), cell: (412) 638-3581, E-mail: schleyer (at) regenstrief.org
Web: http://www.regenstrief.org/cbmi/, Blog: https://titusschleyer.wordpress.com, General: http://about.me/titusschleyer
So, the other day I asked my colleagues “What are cool products/services @RCBMI?” At the moment, we do not really have a good public, up-to-date listing of “What’s hot” at the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics. This will change in the future, but until that happens, I thought I might as well use a blog posting to get our list of “Top 10” (in no particular order) out there. So, here goes:
Happy New Year!
Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD
Clem McDonald Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics
Regenstrief Institute, Inc., 410 West 10th Street, Suite 2000, Indianapolis, IN 46202-3012
Skype: titus.schleyer, Ph: (317) 274-9204 (direct), cell: (412) 638-3581, E-mail: email@example.com, Web: http://www.regenstrief.org/cbmi/, Blog: https://titusschleyer.wordpress.com, General: http://about.me/titusschleyer
Remember the old movie “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” with Jimmy Stewart? From November 16-20, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) had its 2013 Annual Symposium in DC and Regenstrief Institute CBMI faculty, along with colleagues from other IU affiliates, “went to Washington.” This Symposium is the premier scientific meeting for biomedical and health informatics research and practice which takes place each year in the fall and brings together sterling informaticians from across the US and Canada, as well as many of our international colleagues.
The Symposium lived up to its – usually high – expectations as it has for the past 35 years. I might have been a little bit biased this year because I had the privilege of helping shape the program as the Applications Track Chair, along with Foundations Track Chair Katie Siek and SPC chair John Holmes. To increase program quality, we consciously lowered the acceptance rate to just over 30% from its more typical 40-43%. Together with over 2,400 attendees, we heard about conceptual and practical advances relating to biomedical information and innovations in design, technology, implementation of information systems and knowledge resources across the full spectrum of health care. Not only did we hear and learn about other’s advances and innovations, but we were able to share a few of our own with our peers.
Dave deBronkart (also known as e-Patient Dave), co-founder and board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, gave an excellent keynote on Sunday about patient engagement in healthcare. He charmed informaticians with quotes such as “Come to the dork side. We have pi.” (That quote was just meant for Burke.) Dave even wrote a nice blog post about his experience at AMIA. From the attendee comments I heard as well as tweets about his talk, it appeared to be one of the most well-received keynotes ever given at AMIA. Even I was so taken in that I tweeted:
Pete Szolovits from MIT won the 2013 Morris Collen Award, a well-deserved honor (see the video here). For those of you who do not know much about Morris Collen, Bill Tierney wrote a very nice blog post about him on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Congratulations also go to JT Finnell, CBMI faculty member, and colleagues for receiving the AMIA Leadership Award for work on Advancing the Clinical Informatics Board Review Program. (Incidentally, JT was among the first people to pass the board exam the other day.)
After the opening session I ran a panel titled “Informaticians, CxIOs and Industry: Strengthening the Fabric of HealthIT with speakers Blackford Middleton from Vanderbilt, Bret Shillingstad from Epic and Marc Overhage from Siemens (my predecessor at Regenstrief). The panel presented viewpoints from key industry and academic leaders on strategies to improve informatics’ contribution to positive changes in healthcare. It was standing room only, and we had attendees from Epic, Cerner, Allscripts and many other HIT companies. One tweet from there that got a lot of attention:
AMIA’s Welcome Reception on opening day was held in the Exhibit Hall where Regenstrief Institute shared a booth with the IU School of Informatics. This was a perfect opportunity for AMIA attendees to visit the booths and ask questions of the exhibitors. Kudos to Emily Mitchell, our fellowship coordinator, for preparing for the exhibition, setting up the booth and staffing it!
Sunday evening was the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) dinner and new Fellow induction. I am proud to say that this year Paul Biondich, CBMI faculty, was one of the inductees joining Regenstrief ACMI fellows Bill Tierney, Steve Downs, Shaun Grannis and me. Paul’s accomplishment is even more noteworthy since he was one out of only six new inductees (of over 40 nominees) – making this ACMI election one of the historically most selective.
Monday our fellow Jianmin Wu presented a paper evaluating congruence between laboratory LOINC value sets for quality measures, public health reporting and then mapping the common tests. In the afternoon, investigators Shaun Grannis and Brian Dixon participated in a panel titled “How fit is electronic health data for its intended uses? Exploring data quality across clinical, public health and research use cases.” Concurrently, investigators Jon Duke and Burke Mamlin demonstrated an update on our Gopher Order Entry System for AMIA attendees. Regenstrief Investigators Brian Dixon and Shaun Grannis, and staff member Mark Tucker, presented a demo on The Regenstrief Notifiable Condition Detector, an automated public health reporting system using routine electronic laboratory data.
Tuesday IU colleague and Director of the Department of BioHealth Informatics at the IU School of Informatics Brad Doebbeling presented a paper discussing informatics challenges and strategies to prevent MRSA infections from a multihospital infection prevention collaborative viewpoint. Brad collaborated on this paper, which received an AMIA Distinguished Paper Award, with Abel Kho, former CBMI fellow, from Northwestern for several years.
CBMI investigators Brian Dixon, JT Finnell, Shaun Grannis, fellow Jianmin Wu and former fellow Jason Cadwallader also presented Variation in Information Needs and Quality: Implications for Public Health Surveillance and Biomedical Informatics, Opioid Abuse Risk Scoring within an Emergency Department, and A Practical Method for Predicting Frequent Use of Emergency Department Care Using Routinely Available Electronic Registration Data. Posters presented by Blaine Takesue, Brian Dixon, Josette Jones and some former Regenstrief fellows during the last two days of the meeting included:
• Health Literacy Redefined through Patient Engagement Framework
• Validation of Semantic Synsets in Natural Language Processing
• Patient, Caregiver, and Provider Perceptions of a Colorectal Cancer Personal Health Record
• Measuring and Improving the Fitness of Electronic Clinical Data for Reuse in Public Health, Research, and Other Use Cases
• Using SMART and i2b2 to Efficiently Identify Adverse Events
• Semantic Processing to Identify Adverse Drug Event Information from Black Box Warnings
Tuesday evening a large group of past and present Regenstrief folks embraced good food, a few drinks and a lot of conversation at a nice Italian restaurant, Bistro Bistro. It was great to catch with colleagues, staff and former trainees in a more informal setting.
Brian Dixon wrapped up on Wednesday with the inaugural and well-received “Year in Review for Public and Global Health Informatics.” The session reviewed recent literature in the areas of public health and global health informatics highlighting trends, knowledge, methods, and lessons from public health and the use of informatics in resource-constrained settings.
We have lots of hard work ahead of us to ensure next year we have even more new, exciting and innovative ideas that to showcase the Regenstrief Institute’s leadership in Biomedical Informatics. Are you interested in making that happen? We are currently recruiting for several faculty positions, ranging from the Sam Regenstrief Chair in biomedical informatics and a Chief Research Informatics Officer to midcareer and junior faculty positions. For more information, please see the postings at http://bit.ly/RCBMI_Faculty.
PS Thanks to Sandy Poremba for helping put this blog post together.
Yesterday, Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute held a ceremony establishing an endowed chair to honor Clement McDonald, M.D., a pioneer and innovator in the use of health information to improve patient care and outcomes.
Dr. McDonald, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Regenstrief Professor Emeritus of Medical Informatics at the IU School of Medicine and former director of the Regenstrief Institute, is currently director of the National Library of Medicine’s Lister Hill Center for Biomedical Communications.
A distinguished clinician-researcher and one of the nation’s most accomplished experts in the field of electronic health record systems Dr. McDonald has inspired and trained scores of junior faculty and fellows at Regenstrief and IU. He developed the Regenstrief Medical Record System and for decades directed its use in clinical studies of innovations in medical informatics; many were conducted at Wishard-Eskenazi Health, one of the largest safety net public health care systems in the United States. This work has illuminated the ways in which electronic medical records can improve the quality and efficiency of patient care and its outcomes.
Today the Regenstrief Medical Record System is one of the longest continually operational electronic medical record systems in existence. Dr. McDonald also created the Indiana Network for Patient Care for the largest and most comprehensive regional health information exchange in the country, involving more than 90 hospital systems in Indiana and more than 19,000 physicians.
Dr. McDonald is also an internationally recognized pioneer in the development of health data standards. He is the developer of Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, Codes, an identification system for tests and results that is a clinical data standard used across the nation and around the globe. A member of the Institute of Medicine, Dr. McDonald is a recipient of the President’s Medal for Excellence from IU, the highest honor an IU president can bestow.
I have the good fortune and high honor to have been named the first Clem McDonald Chair of Biomedical Informatics. It is hard to put into words what this means to me. The following is the text of my remarks at the ceremony:
“Dear collagues and friends,
Thank you very much for being here today. It means a lot to me.
So, what do you say when you are honored with the title ‘Clem McDonald Professorship of Biomedical Informatics?’ Well, my first reaction was to be speechless.
My second one was: ‘They must have made a mistake. They cannot possibly mean me.’ Eventually, I realized that they were serious about it and that is why we are all here today.
Of course, then the problem becomes to say something meaningful in response. So, this has become the shortest speech in my life about which I have deliberated for the longest time. I even wrote it down, which is something I never do.
To be honored with a named professorship is profoundly humbling. I consider this the most important achievement in my life to date. Actually, that is not quite correct. My most important achievement is having married my wife Alida. So, this is the most important achievement in my professional life.
Second, I see this honor not as much as a recognition for past accomplishments but a challenge for the future. In science, we are used to ‘standing on the shoulders of giants.’ The preceding remarks have driven home exactly what kind of giant Clem McDonald really is. So, the question becomes: How do we prove ourselves worthy of Clem’s legacy? The named professorship is not just an honor and challenge for me, it is one for all of us.
The Center for Biomedical Informatics is a storied institution with a rich history of accomplishments. That is good, but more is asked of us than to rest on our laurels.
After I gave my Work in Progress presentation a few weeks ago, Tom Inui came up to me and introduced himself. It was the first time I met him. He asked me a simple question: ‘Why did Sam Regenstrief fail?’ I’m thinking: ‘Wow, here comes the real interview.’ So, I am wracking my brain, trying to remember Sam’s biography that I had read more than a year ago. So I say: ‘Sears wanted to diversify from more than one supplier for dishwashers.’ Tom shakes his head. ‘Somebody offered him the design of the first microwave to build, but he didn’t take it.’ Well, I am not sure how many of us would have chosen to build microwaves in an age when their widespread use was unimaginable! Tom shakes his head again. Then he says quietly: ‘He kept doing what he was always doing.’
At a fundamental level, Sam did not change his ways in a changed environment. It is a lesson that we would do well to heed.
Biomedical informatics operates in an environment radically different from what we had historically. Not anymore is informatics the domain of the few bright pioneers. Not anymore can it be content with producing stellar innovations confined to local settings. Not anymore does it exist in a vacuum.
No, informatics is now alive in the daily practice of healthcare. Its fruits are at work in every practice, hospital and health system. In short, it not only affects healthcare, it is healthcare.
That puts a particular burden on us. In keeping with Sam’s charge, we must ensure that informatics continues to improve healthcare.
I always like to joke that biomedical informatics is still in the Stone Age. Some people may scoff at that, but I think it is true. Many years ago, Paul David wrote in the American Economic Review:
‘Radically new technologies diffuse gradually, because it takes a long time for companies to learn how to use the new resources effectively. … Truly revolutionary applications often require major reorganizations of production, which may take a long time to discover.’ (P. David, The dynamo and the computer: A historical perspective on the modern productivity paradox, American Economic Review, 1990).
I think the same is true in healthcare. We have not even begun to discover how to use informatics to its full potential in healthcare.
Participating in and helping drive that discovery is one of our core responsibilities at CBMI. Sam Regenstrief charged us with improving healthcare. We have done that and will do it even better in the future.
But, I cannot do this alone. I need your help. In the process, we will have to work hard. We will need to do things in ways we haven’t done them before. We will need to reach out to others in unprecedented ways. But, most importantly, we will do it together.
In the process, one thing we will do is to honor Clem and his legacy. And, I can imagine few things as worthwhile as doing that.
So, I have been working here for four weeks and one day now. I’m sure many of you are asking yourself: ‘Well, what is Titus thinking? Does he like it here? Does he like us?’ I have to tell you: I love it here. Coming to work here was like coming home. I know that we can achieve great things together. I see it in your loyalty to the Institute. I see it in the ways you think, decide and act. I see it in your eyes. For me, the fact that we can do it means we will do it.
With that, let us raise our glasses to Clem: For what we owe to you and for what we will achieve in your honor.
Thank you very much.”
PS: Official press releases:
PPS: Recording (.wav file, 40 min.) of remarks at the ceremony by:
With the start of my new job at the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, I have also started a new blog. (Some of you may be familiar with my posts on the Dental Informatics Online Community Blog, but from now on most, if not all, of my blogging will happen here.) I wanted to tell you a little bit about what’s been going on since I moved here and what I’m planning for this blog.
My new position here is Clem McDonald Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI). Here is how this came about: Early last year, I got an email from the chair of the search committee, asking me whether I would consider applying for the position of director at the CBMI. Two thoughts crossed my mind: “I didn’t know you were looking for a director” and “Why me?” After a fairly lengthy recruitment cycle (not atypical for academia) I happily joined my 15 faculty and 70 staff colleagues full-time on June 1, 2013.
So, what does the Regenstrief Institute do? Our motto is “Advancing healthcare through research, development and education” and that is what we have been doing for about 40 years. Our center, the CBMI, is a global collaborative research and learning organization. We develop and evaluate innovative informatics solutions to improve patient care. We translate these solutions into cost-effective, operational systems, including a dynamic electronic medical record system called G3 at Wishard Hospital. And, we have research programs in:
If this sounds like a pretty exciting place to work, you are onto something. It is one of the major reasons why I’m here. When I was in dental school in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1985, I was already familiar with the work of the CBMI’s founder, Clem McDonald. Under his direction, CBMI was working on the Medical Gopher (“A Microcomputer System to Help Find, Organize and Decide About Patient Data”). Gopher was one of the first computerized physician order entry systems in the world, and its development has influenced informatics and health information technology in countless ways.
One of the things I have always admired about the Regenstrief Institute is its focus on practical applications in healthcare. Our business is to impact health care, regardless of whether that is locally, regionally or nationally. This philosophy resonates strongly with me. Ever since I touched a computer, I tried to solve real-world problems, whether that was helping my Dad with calculating the value of standing lumber, writing materials testing software for Fichtel&Sachs in Schweinfurt, or writing an expert system to schedule students’ clinical rotations at Temple University School of Dentistry. When I first interviewed for the position, I thought “Wow, these people are like me.” I felt like I had come home.
So, where to from here? The Regenstrief Institute is a storied institution with a rich history of accomplishments. Yet, the world of biomedical informatics and health information technology is changing, and the CBMI must adapt and evolve in order to continue to thrive. One priority for me is to make the innovations we produce here more accessible and usable to the rest of the world. Publishing papers in high-quality journal is wonderful, but not enough. We must affect the health and lives of people with the methods we develop and software we build. I am looking forward to doing that with our current partners, including Indiana University Health, Wishard Hospital, Community Health, and St. Vincent, as well as new ones. One of my other top priorities is to attract the best and brightest minds in informatics, computer science, and medicine and other healthcare fields from the US and around the world to work at a place that has few equals in terms of opportunity.
On a personal note, I am enjoying getting acquainted with Indianapolis as a place to live. The people here are friendly, easygoing and open. Currently, I am living seven minutes away from work (by bicycle) and enjoy the short commute. Two weeks ago, I visited the Broadripple Farmers Market, and last week, my wife Alida and I bicycled around Columbus, Indiana (near the wonderful Brown County State Park.) In Indianapolis, we have already enjoyed the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Rathskeller Biergarten and the Canal.
If you are in town, please make time to visit us! Contact me at schleyer (at) regenstrief (dot) org. I look forward to welcoming you!
PS: Official press release:
PPS: I have closed comments on this blog until I can figure out a way to keep too much spam from coming in. On the DIOC blog, we had about 600 spam messages to each real one. If someone knows how to improve on that signal to noise ratio, please let me know.